The Ogaden region lies in the east of Ethiopia and was once part of an independent, multi-ethnic Islamic Kingdom, the Sultanate of Adal. The people of the Ogaden are ethnically Somali and have been persecuted by the Ethiopian regime. The legacy of colonialism in Africa allowed for the Ethiopians to occupy the Ogaden region, dominate its people, waging war on them, enslaving their women and children and exploiting their resources. Britain had control of Northern Somalia, while Italy controlled the south and rewarded Ethiopia for their loyalty by signing over the Ogaden region in a treaty.
Once Britain gave independence to its colony in 1960, the north and south of Somalia joined to form a single state, though Ethiopia still wanted to stake its claim over Ogaden sparking a devastating war that weakened Somalia and hampered dreams of a united, greater Somali state. Since 2007, the Ethiopian government embarked on an onslaught against the Ogaden National Liberation Front, branding the movement as a terrorist organisation.
International media and human rights organisations have been severely restricted, if not banned altogether from the region. Human Rights Watch has reported on atrocious human rights abuses committed by the Ethiopian regime against the people of the Ogaden, including collective punishment, the annihilation of entire villages and communities, mirroring ethnic cleansing, and using systematic rape of women and children, stripping them of any dignity and dehumanizing them. Often, these rapes are done in the presence of the fathers, brothers, husbands of the women, as a form of humiliation and there have even been reports of the Ogaden men being forced, at gun-point, to rape their own mothers, sisters, daughters. The women are then enslaved and repeatedly raped, even with foreign objects such as bayonets.
The United Nations and international community continue to turn a blind eye to the forgotten people of Ogaden, allowing the genocide to continue in the name of the war against terror. Somali and muslim life and dignity are of no value to the world and when they rise up against injustice, they are the terrorists! Lo how Beautiful is Terrorism.